April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day

Instructions: 

Read about April Fool’s Day and then do the three exercises.

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Is there a special day for jokes and tricks in your country? Do you like playing tricks on people? If you're ever in the UK on April 1st, you'd better watch out!

When and what is April Fool’s Day?

April Fool’s Day is on April 1st. It‘s the custom in the UK to play a trick or a joke on someone on this day. If the person falls for the joke then they are called an ‘April Fool’. In fact it’s only half a day because April Fool’s Day finishes at midday. No more jokes after lunchtime, please!

What kind of tricks do people play?

Here are some April Fool’s tricks from around the world:

  • In the 90s Burger King published an advert in the magazine USA Today offering new ‘Left-handed Whoppas’ for the 32 million left-handed Americans! Thousands of customers ordered the new burger in the restaurants!
  • A zoo in Japan said that they had a giant penguin that was 165cm tall and weighed 80 kilograms! In fact it was a man dressed up in a penguin suit.
  • Last year in the UK a children’s news programme said that scientists had invented a ‘Brain Band’. It was a coloured head band that you put on your head and it helped to make you more intelligent! In an on-line poll, 47% of the children who heard the news wanted to buy a ‘brain band’!
  • In 1949 a radio presenter in New Zealand told listeners that there were millions of wasps coming to invade. He told viewers to wear their socks over their trousers and to put honey on their doors. Millions of listeners believed him!
  • In 1976 a very famous British astronomer told radio listeners that at 9.47am the earth was going to experience a feeling of less gravity. He said that Jupiter and Pluto would cross and if listeners jumped in the air at exactly 9.47am they would feel the sensation of having no gravity! Hundreds of listeners phoned the radio to say they had jumped and floated in the air!
  • Ikea announced that the shop had launched a dog highchair (highchairs are usually for babies!) named 'HUNDSTOL' (Swedish for dog chair). Google 'IKEA dog high chair' for more details.
  • The free London newspaper, The Metro, came up with a novel idea to deal with the problem of litter on the underground (unfortunately it was only a joke). They said that the newspaper was now edible – ‘the only paper that you can eat after reading’.
  • A British newspaper announced that Portugal had 'sold' Cristiano Ronaldo, the footballer, to Spain for €160million. Why? To try to clear its national debt. It was a joke of course.

Do people actually like April Fool’s Day?

We asked some Brits this question. This is what they said:

I love April Fool’s Day. It can be really good fun. I love playing tricks on people and I don’t mind if people play tricks on me. It’s one day of the year you can be really silly and have a laugh and it’s okay. You have to be quite sensible for the other 364 days of the year, so I look forward to April 1st.
Malisa

I don’t like April Fool’s Day. It makes me a bit nervous. I keep thinking someone is about to play a trick on me. When twelve o’clock passes I feel quite relieved that it’s finished for another year!
Johnny

When I was at school April Fool’s Day was always good fun. We played tricks on each other and sometimes on the teacher. In fact, one year one of the boys at school put a bucket of water on top of the door and when the chemistry teacher came in he got very wet! It was funny, but the boy got in big trouble!
Phil

April Fool’s Day is a great idea. It’s easy to forget the actual date and I always believe everything I read in the newspapers or watch on the TV news. I usually believe the big national hoaxes and it always makes me laugh afterwards. It’s good to remind us that maybe we shouldn’t always believe everything we hear in the news.
Louise

April Fool’s Day is fun when you’re young. I remember putting a plastic fried egg on my dad’s plate for breakfast as a trick. He decided to cut it up and pretend to eat it! Now I think some of the tricks are a bit silly and people can be a bit cruel playing tricks on their ‘friends’!
Clare

I hate April Fool’s Day. Last year people at work changed the sugar for salt so we all put salt in our coffee! Then some joker in the office decided he wanted a day off and he did something to the computers so they wouldn’t work. It just wasn’t funny! I had lots to do and we all had to stop working and solve the problem.
Mark

So watch out this year on April 1st!

Total votes: 388

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Discussion

Do you have a day that is similar to April Fool's Day in your country? Tell us about it here.

Comments

justcricketforme's picture
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We do celebrate it and it's fun! I was super careful right from the time I stepped in the van and slept. Well, one of my BFFs did this trick:
She came in with a big box of Oreo. She said loudly : "How wans an Oreo?" A few of my friends did go to recieve one but I satyed on my seat. She gave everyone one Oreo. The first one to eat it started making a face and she spat it in the dustbin and so did the others.
"It's got toothpaste and handmoisterizer in it! You guys acctually fell for it!" She laughed. I laughed too. Woah! What a trick!

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3 users have voted.
KimchiSoup's picture
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Korea has similar culture for April Fool’s we call it Manoujur. Korean students love this day because we can do a lot of tricks for our teachers. So some teachers hate this day but usually they enjoy this day too. When I was grade 9 in Korea, everyone set the alarm for 9 o’clock! In Korean school, we must hand in our cell phone in the cell phone backpack. When my main teacher picked up the cell phone bag, 38 cell phone started to rang. It was very funny, everyone was laughing also my main teacher were laughing too. However, this happen just in morning independent study time. During 1 period we are doing everyone is side ways so my Korean teacher taught us side ways. During 2 period we were moving the classroom are outside! it sounds crazy so we were studying in the paly field. It such a fun day for me. Everyone changed their classroom or classmate and some students are didn’t wear the school uniform. They wear the look like old ladies and ghosts even some teachers are thinking they are school parents. I’m really excited now because tomorrow is April Fool’s. I don’t know Canada style but I want to say for my mom ‘We don’t need to go to Shecana because Sheila said tomorrow is day off’. I can’t wait tomorrow.

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7 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Hi KimchiSoup. Thanks for telling us about your tricks! I must say, they're very amusing and imaginative. Let us know what you get up to today! And I hope our other users and readers will write and tell us too. Have fun. :-) 
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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6 users have voted.
Eichego's picture
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Yes, but it is similar. In Korea we have a similar day to April fool’s day. This day is called lying day. In school many students are lying to each other or lying to the teachers. They change their classrooms or put their desks outside.

A few years ago our class lied to our teacher. We changed the sits and we turned the sits backward. When the teacher came he was shocked. Tomorrow is April fool’s day! I will say, “I like you” to my friend but it is a lie. I really like April fool’s day.

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8 users have voted.
purpledyeflick's picture
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This is a very informative post about April Fools' day. I must agree that anything funny is a form of this event. People are used already to this occasion and refuse to outgrew with this tradition. I noticed also that webs unleash their best crack pranks and spoofs on this day. I agree too that this celebration has been practiced in different countries.

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13 users have voted.
Pitaloka's picture
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Yeah we also celebrate this day. I love it. This is a funniest day of the year.
In my school every year is getting very badly.
You better watch out!

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22 users have voted.
Herbs's picture
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We celebrate April Fool's Day in Taiwan. It is a great day cuz you can lie to your friends and then say "Happy Fool's Day!" (lol)

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18 users have voted.
Ilehana's picture
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I think it's a great day! but pitifully here, in Colombia, there's no a similiar day....Think it's a day most knonw by europeans and Americans...I would like a day like it!...but I really hate people who make fun at me!! :(

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25 users have voted.
Toma English's picture
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oh sometimes it's celebrated but we don't know till the 15th April xD this year ,, our friends "boys" decided to make a fool ,, they acted like they were fighting and one of them told us to make them friends again but no one had responded to us "girls" at last we saw them together laughing then we asked them ,, What that was ,, then they told us ,, "It Just Was ,, April's Fool :D

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29 users have voted.
Laiafdz's picture
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In Catalonia we don't celebrate April Fool's Day but we celebrate "Sants Innocents" (it is a similar event) on 28th of Decemeber. Since we were little I and my sister make the same trick every year. The name of the trick is "llufes". When we get up we cut the newspaper and then past the "llufa" in the door, touch the bell and finally run a lot. Also popular in Catalonia is some tricks in the TV. The presenters explain a false new and everyone belive the new.
I only make one joke in this tradition, "la llufa" because when I make a trick always laugh.

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17 users have voted.
guillem.-.'s picture
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in catalonia we celebrate a very similar celebration it's the Innocent Saints Day.
the Innocent Saints Day is in 28th December and it's a very funny day because everybody is making jokes and laughs. The tradition consists in put on the back of a person a "llufa", one paper siluet and sometimes it wears a sentence.

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26 users have voted.
annaorriols's picture
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It looks like a beautiful and funny day to celebrate. In our country, this celebration is in a diferent day, and we enjoy it making jokes and laughs. When I was a child, I always made jokes and I never forgot to hang some "llufa" on the back of someone! It's a wonderfull day!

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26 users have voted.
carlacs's picture
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In my country, Spain, on 28th of December we celebrate a similar tradicion called Innocent Saint day. All the people does jokes all day. I don't prepare any jokes but if during the day I want to do one, I do it. I like this day. The tradition is put a silouette of a person with a paper in the back of the peolple.

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20 users have voted.
Irenevq's picture
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Yes, I’m from Catalonia and we celebrate the April fool day too, but it’s on 28th of December and its call Innocent Saints Day. In this day people play jokes and tricks to other people and I think that it's very funny. We do jokes and tricks during all the day, not only half a day. We play jokes like hang a white paper doll in the back of someone or change the hour of all the clocks. I like this day but I’ve never play jokes or tricks and I think that only once someone plays me a trick.

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23 users have voted.
iona98's picture
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In our country (Catalonia) we celebrate a day like this called Innocent Saints day (Dia dels Sants Innocents) . This day is celebrated in 28th of December.
One of the most used jokes is put a paper puppet on the back of your friends . Then they become an innocent , other kind of jokes is like for exemple make false notes and leave it on the floor.
My friends and I usually do not even joke between us and the other people.
However I find this event fun and special:)

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24 users have voted.
georginaaltimir's picture
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The fools day, in Catalonia is on 28th of December but it's called Innocent Saints Day.
We take a peace of paper, we draw a siluet of a person and we paste it on the back of a people. I don't remember any funny joke i did when i was a child.

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24 users have voted.
claudiaraja's picture
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In Catalonia, there is and April fool day too. But it is in 28th of December and it's call Innocent Saints Day. In this day people play a trick or a joke. The most typical joke is hanging a paper puppet on people's back or telling someone a little lie. Honestly i don't playing tricks or jocks. Neither me and my friends ¡ celebrate this day. I don't remember any joke that someone played to me. And 28th of December it's my brithday too. So I don't like playing tricks but I like this day!

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25 users have voted.
eliesbll's picture
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In catalonia we celebrate a similar day
In december 27th we celebrate the Innocent Saints Day
A lot of people do the special "llufa" (it's a funny silouhette)
I always do the llufa

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